Site: RFK Stadium, Washington. 1 p.m.

TV: Channels 11, 9.

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM), WTEM (570 AM)

Line: Redskins by 3 1/2 .

Last week: The Redskins lost to the Miami Dolphins, 17-10, and the Giants lost to the Buffalo Bills, 17-14.

Last meeting: The Redskins beat the Giants, 28-10, last December as Earnest Byner carried 20 times for 100 yards. The Redskins easily throttled rookie quarterback Kent Graham, who was playing because Jeff Hostetler and Phil Simms were injured, and held him to 78 yards passing.

The series: In one of the most storied rivalries in football, the Giants hold a 67-50-3 edge. The teams have alternated dominating the series. The Giants were 12-0-1 from 1958 to 1964 and the Redskins were 11-0 from 1971 to '76. The Giants had a 9-1 edge in non-strike games from 1986 to '90, but the Redskins have won three of four the past two years.

On the sidelines: Dan Reeves, in his first season as Giants coach after spending 12 years at Denver, is 120-81-1 in his career. Redskins coach Richie Petitbon is a rocky 1-3 in his first season.

What the Redskins have to do to win: Keep Mark Rypien healthy. The Redskins are rushing Rypien back into action with a tender )) right knee, even though Rypien admits he's only 85-90 percent, so the Redskins have to protect him well. Since Rich Gannon has a sore foot and Petitbon doesn't have much confidence in Cary Conklin, the Redskins will be in trouble if Rypien goes out. They also need a big running game from Reggie Brooks and Brian Mitchell so the team doesn't put all the pressure on Rypien.

What the Giants have to do to win: Get a big game from Lewis Tillman. If Rodney Hampton hadn't gone down with a knee injury, the Giants would have had a big advantage because they could have pounded Hampton at the left side behind Jumbo Elliott and William Roberts against an injury-riddled Washington line. With Hampton out, they have to count on Tillman, who has carried only 11 times this year, compared to Hampton's 124 carries. But Tillman is averaging 5.8 yards in those 11 carries, so the Giants hope he can carry the load. Ex-Towson State star David Meggett also could have a big game with Hampton out. If the Redskins stop Hampton, the Giants will try to win it on Simms' arm.

Injury report: Giants: CB Phillippi Sparks (foot), RB Rodney Hampton (ankle) are out. RB Jarrod Bunch (pneumonia), LB Michael Strahan (foot) are doubtful. WR Chris Calloway (knee), DL Keith Hamilton (toe), LB Lawrence Taylor (toe) are probable. Redskins: DL Charles Mann (knee), DL Eric Williams (hip) are out. QB Mark Rypien (knee), DE Shane Collins (foot), DT Bobby Wilson (knee) are questionable. QB Rich Gannon (foot), TE Ron Middleton (back) are probable.

Outlook: This is an intriguing matchup between two teams worried about their offenses. The Redskins are playing Rypien on a tender knee and the Giants are without Hampton, so it's likely to boil down to a defensive struggle. The Redskins are the more desperate team. If they don't win this one, they can start thinking about rebuilding.

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